I used to read a science fiction series by Anne McCaffrey that had dragons in it. When the baby dragons were born it was a major event, and a person was chosen by the baby dragon to be their person. In the book, they called it imprinting.
Science fiction is not my favorite genre, but that theme of dragons and people uniting to fight the dangers on the fictitious planet Pern remind me of the bond between humans and dogs.
Dogs (wolves) and humans bonded 10,000 years ago or more. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/how-dogs-stole-our-hearts Their ability to show joy is turning out to be genetic, which is fascinating to read about and warrants much more research. Read more here about the research.
No other animal can bond and form a partnership with people like dogs and humans can. If you think about the history of dogs, most breeds came to be due to the need to work together to survive and thrive. We have Hound and Sporting dogs bred to hunt. We have Working dogs bred to help us work. We have herding dogs that were bred to help with the livestock.
So dogs bonded with us throughout history to do something together. Originally to hunt for food or provide protection. Read this AKC article about working dogs and what they were originally bred to do Here.
Regardless of the breed you end up with or a wonderful rescue of mixed heritage, dogs were domesticated and bred to do things with you. If you develop a strong relationship with your dog, and bond over enjoyable activities, you will find unparalleled companionship, love and joy.
A well-known saying in the dog world is “tired dogs are good dogs.” Do things together, rest together, and your dog will be your best friend.
I got my first dog when I was 11 and have had many dogs over the years. I have never had more fun, and developed a better bond with any of my dogs, until I started dog showing. Dog showing involves many things such as:
- Understanding the breed standard as issued by registries such as AKC or UKC
- Learning how to bathe and groom your dog properly for showing
- Exercising and keeping your dog in “show shape”
- Finding a mentor and/or breeder to help you along your journey
- Traveling to dog shows with your dogs and staying in campers, vans, hotels or a friend’s house!
I tell you, I never had a prouder moment then when we won this ribbon at a dog show! The time and work that went into this moment made it all worthwhile.
If dog showing doesn’t interest you, their are many other things to do together with your dog that will provide hours and hours of companionship and joy. Hiking, walking, agility, barn hunt, dock diving, nose work, obedience, rally, frisbee, trick dog work, and many other things provide the opportunity to bond with your dog.
My hope is that you find ways to love and enjoy your dog like I have. The rewards of a great bond with your dog are immeasurable.